Plectorhinchus chaetodonoides

Harlequin sweetlips | Brownkelly | Clown Sweetlips | Harlequin Thicklip | Many-spotted Sweetlips | Spotted Blubberlips
Plectorhinchus chaetodonoides
Plectorhinchus chaetodonoides, adult, Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
Plectorhinchus chaetodonoides
Plectorhinchus chaetodonoides, juvenile, Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia, Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
Plectorhinchus chaetodonoides
Plectorhinchus chaetodonoides, WA, Australia, Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
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Plectorhinchus chaetodonoides
Plectorhinchus chaetodonoides
Plectorhinchus chaetodonoides


Tropical Indo-Pacific


Pale cream/yellow back ground colour with dark spots covering upper and mid body, belly clear of markings, rubbery lips, tail and dorsal fin spotted, pectoral and ventral fins dark. Larger spots and lack of dark margin on rear of gill cover distinguish it from P. picus (Dotted Sweetlips). Juveniles with large dark edged, white spots on orange-brown base, swim with hypnotic undulating movement, possibly mimicking that of flatworms. Often in caves.


Max Size: 72 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 22.4-31.3°C

Depth: 1-30m

Habitat Generalization Index: 14.33

Also referred to as the SGI (Species Generalisation Index), this describes the habitat niche breadth of the species. Species with values less than 15 are found in a relatively narrow range of reef habitat types (specialists), while those over 25 may be found on most hard substrates within their range (generalists). Learn more here.

Conservation and Rarity

IUCN Status: Not Evaluated

Occurrence: Frequent (17.8% of sites)

Occurrence describes how often the species is found on surveys within its distribution. It is calculated as the % of reef sites surveyed by RLS divers across all the ecoregions in which the species has been observed

Abundance: Few (2 per transect)

Abundance is calculated as the average number of individuals recorded per RLS transect, where present.

Edit by: RD Stuart-Smith, GJ Edgar, AJ Green, IV Shaw. 2015. Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland